Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Connelly back in top form in 'Reversal'

"The Reversal" (Little Brown, $27.99) by award-winning crime novelist Michael Connelly, is a real treat for his legion of ardent readers.

The book, which is scheduled for release on Tuesday, features of Connelly major fictional characters - Los Angeles defense attorney Mickey Haller and his half-brother, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

Both appeared in Connelly's 2008 best-seller "The Brass Verdict," but this time there's an added twist - they're working for the prosecution.

Convicted child killer Jacob Jessup, who's served 24 years in prison, has been granted a retrial based on new DNA evidence.

Haller, who also starred in "The Lincoln Lawyer," agrees to serve as a special prosecutor in the high-profile case, but on his own terms. He wants Bosch as his investigator and his ex-wife, Deputy District Attorney Maggie McPherson, as second chair.

As expected, the case gets complicated. The cops who handled the case aren't around anymore or aren't useful. The testimony of a jailhouse snitch can't be used and Sarah Landry, the only witness to the abduction of her sister Melissa, has dropped from sight.

Longtime police veteran Harry Bosch uses his ties with the FBI to help gather information, but it's not easy. When he discovers unsavory records of Sarah's past, he can understand her reluctance to testify.

Jessup, meanwhile, has a celebrity lawyer who is twisting facts to gain media exposure. Utilizing airtime to proclaim his innocence, Jessup also is making disturbing visits to unusual locations during the night.
The defense brings up an assortment of challenging issues, so the prosecutor's team must go all out, using ingenious methods in an uphill battle for justice.

Haller and Bosch are sure the sadistic killer has plans for more brutal attacks and want to stop him before he kills again.

The conclusion is stunning, yet realistic. Connelly, a former award-winning journalist, deftly captures the courtroom atmosphere as well as life on the turbulent streets of Los Angeles.
Connelly smoothly combines the best of two literary genres, adroitly mixing the intriguing elements of a legal thriller with the insights and step-by step methodology of the police procedural. It's easily one of the year's best crime novels.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987.

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